Monday, June 16

Appearances can be deceiving (Great investors often do not seem the part...)

I came across an interesting passage in an article discussing John Paulson (and George Soros) today. (John Paulson is the hedge fund guy that predicted the subprime collapse and made a TON of money betting against the bull real estate market early.) The passage reads as follows:
"John did not make a strong immediate impact, but one comes to realise that great investors do not need to be good at presentations. George Soros is a prime example; he often ums and ahs and meanders away into unrelated areas before making his point. That sort of thing can obscure the impression that one might be in the presence of an investment genius."
This comment highlights one of the flaws that humans use to judge potential performance of others -- namely, that they are highly influenced by superficial heuristics. I've found that the most intelligent investors I know are not declaratively forceful (direct and to the point). I think this is because they understand that investment analysis is very complex and involves many turns of logic before arriving at a good investment decision. The world is not black and white and in investing, you're really betting on probabilities at the end of the day. When people try to simplify the process, they usually miss the critical factors and make a bad decision.
So, as a result of his comment, I'm a little skeptical of David Craig's capabilities. But then again, I'm reading this in a news outlet, so maybe the truth is different than what is being reported. And I'm amused that he would criticize George Soros for "uhming and ahing" when speaking. This is pure Baby Boomer "Dress for Success" superficial rules for evaluating others at work. Or should I say: at "not" work.

No comments: